CAF Champions League: Plateau United “Tourist Team” Depart For Gabon Ahead Of AS Mandji Clash
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By Amaechi Agbo
In what could be regarded as a “Team of Tourists on adventure” Plateau United FC contingent including the states Commissioner for youth and sports, FA Chairman and Director of sports will depart Nigeria on Thursday for the first leg first round of the 2022/2023 CAF Champions League clash with Gabonese side, AS Mandji.
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The contingent made up of government appointees and people that have nothing to do with the club’s CAF Champions League quest will leave the shores of the country on Thursday through Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos
In as release on Wednesday, the club noted that the contingent is lead by the Commissioner for youth and sports in the state, Victor Lagpag. Also on the trip to Gabon is the General Manager of the Club, Pius Henwan; Plateau State acting Director of Sports , Simon Moven and the Chairman Plateau State Football Association, PFA, Sunday Longbab all of whom are regarded as “backroom staff” of the club.
Below is reproduced the press release issued by the club on Wednesday signed by the Media Officer, Albert Dakup
A forty-four man contingent , comprising players, coaches and other backroom staff of Plateau United Football Club of Jos have departed the tin city to honour its first leg, preliminary round match against A.S Mandji of Gabon slated for this Saturday.
The contingent which is led by Plateau State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Victor Lapang , comprises twenty players, six Coaches and eighteen backroom staff.
While speaking shortly before their departure, Lapang reminded the team that they are not only representing Plateau State , but the country at large and urged them to brace up and put smiles on the faces of soccer loving Nigerians.
He restated the commitment of the Plateau State Government under the leadership of Governor Simon Lalong to continue to sponsor the team and warned against any act that will jeopardize their concentration ahead of the match, which is also capable of bringing the name of Nigeria to disrepute.
Plateau United which finished second in the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL, has since recruited eleven new players from top NPFL clubs and abroad to fortify the team.
Top among the players who have joined the peace boys is Ibrahim Mustapha who is staging a return to the team after a short stint with Al Hilal of Sudan and representing them in last season’s CAF Champions league as well as CHAN Super Eagles defender, Nweaze Christopher, from Akwa United of Uyo, Mustapha Abdullahi from Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and former Abia Warriors safe hands, Pius Ibrahim.
The team which participated in the recently concluded Value Jet Pre-season Tournament in Ijebu-Ode, home ground of Remo Stars in Ogun State alongside other continental teams, played four matches won one, drew one and lost two after forcing the CHAN Eagles to a one-all draw in a friendly tie at the training pitch of MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
Technical Adviser of the team, Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu expressed satisfaction with the team’s level of commitment and determination and urged them to give in their best as they are not only representing their team or Plateau State, but Nigeria at large.
Also on the trip to Gabon with the team, is the General Manager of the Club, Pius Henwan, Plateau State acting Director of Sports , Simon Moven and the Chairman Plateau State Football Association, PFA, Sunday Longbab.
The team is expected to board an ASKY airline to Gabon on Thursday from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos by by 4:40pm on Thursday.